Nestled in the hills of Oakland, Joaquin Miller Park is home to some of the most scenic and challenging mountain biking trails in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Among them is a 16.1km intermediate singletrack loop with a total elevation gain of 713m and loss of 318m. This trail is an excellent choice for riders looking for a challenging ride with beautiful views !
The trail is named after Joaquin Miller, a poet and a conservationist who lived in Oakland in the late 19th century. He had bought the land in the 1880s and named it "The Hights."
The trail begins and ends at the main parking lot of Joaquin Miller Park. It winds through beautiful forests, offering glimpses of the San Francisco Bay along the way. The trail is well-maintained and easy to follow, with only a few steep sections that may challenge less experienced riders.
One of the main benefits of this trail is its configuration - as a loop, riders will end up where they started. This is convenient for those who park their cars at the main parking lot, but it can also disadvantage those who need to take a shuttle back to their starting point.
The trail has three main downhill sections that are worth mentioning: the Cinderella Trail, the Big Trees Trail, and the Palos Colorados Trail. These trails offer a mix of technical terrain, small jumps, and fast descents, making them a highlight of the ride.
For those needing public transportation to the park, the AC Transit bus routes 39, 57, 653, and 655 can take you there. However, riders should note that these buses have limited schedules and may not run on weekends or holidays.
There are no extra fees to ride this trail, and dogs and e-bikes are allowed. However, riders should be aware of the small jumps and technical terrain that may pose a challenge.
Along the trail, riders can see some of the Bay Area's most iconic views, including the San Francisco Bay and the city skyline. The park itself is also home to a variety of trees, including California redwoods and coast live oak trees in the East Bay hills, which add to the natural beauty of the area.
Riders should bring their own water as there are no drinking fountains along the trail. Restrooms are also not available on the trail, so riders should plan accordingly.
As with any mountain biking trail, riders should wear appropriate safety gear, including helmets and gloves. They should also be aware of their own skill level and not attempt anything that is beyond their abilities.
The 16.1km intermediate singletrack loop in Joaquin Miller Park is a challenging and rewarding ride for mountain bikers of all skill levels. With its mix of technical terrain, small jumps, and beautiful views, it is an excellent choice for those looking for a memorable ride in the East Bay Area.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, there’s something for everyone on this trail. So grab your bike and head to the Oakland Hills for an unforgettable biking experience.